Thanks to everyone who took part in our Old English Riddles for the Modern World Contest (installment 1? maybe!). If you haven’t already guessed it (and quite a few of you have), the answer is “kettle” (OE cytel…although obv. the Anglo-Saxons didn’t have the electric kind that I had in mind when I was writing this riddle). Another great suggestion, “furnace,” just goes to show how riddles can often develop lives of their own and spawn multiple readings and interpretations.
Now, sometimes people say that it’s not about winning or losing, but about playing the game. Sometimes people say that we’re all winners in our own special way. Sometimes people say there are no winners if everyone’s having fun. And that’s just fine. But as far as this contest is concerned, there is an actual, non-touchy-feely winner: Cameron Laird. Unless my computer is lying to me, Cameron solved this riddle in under three minutes. Close runners-up include Linden Currie and Josh Smith. Since some of us are feeling generous today, we’ll be sending them some bookmarks too (but NO postcard, or Cameron may get jealous!).
Chances are we’ll run another contest like this in the autumn or winter, so start studying up. If you’re an instructor, think about encouraging your students to have a go. We’re not about shameless self-promotion here at The Riddle Ages.
UPDATE: here’s a photo of Cameron enjoying his prize. He tells me it was taken in the offices of the Dictionary of Old English project, which seems quite appropriate.